Canada’s international merchandise trade, focus on Belgium, April 2014 statistics

Statistics Canada’s latest figures show that Canadian exports to Belgium, which amounted to a record $245 million in February and went down to $108 million in March, went back up to $134 million in April. Canadian imports from Belgium, on the other hand, amounted to $205 million in February, went up to $278 million in March but down substantially to $184 million in April.  So our bilateral exchanges have peaks and valleys and it will be interesting to see their evolution in the months to come.

Canada’s overall merchandise exports declined 1.8% in April, while imports increased 1.4%, moving our trade balance with the world from a surplus of $766 million in March to a deficit of $638 million in April. Exports declined to $42.8 billion, with decreases in energy products (-10.7%) and metal and non-metallic mineral products (- 6.2%) partially offset by an increase in exports of forestry products, building and packaging materials (14.6%), with pulp and paper (+20%) and lumber (+21.3%) leading the way. Imports increased for a third consecutive month to a record high of $43.5 billion. Gains were recorded in most sections, led by consumer goods (+3.6%), electronic and electrical equipment (+4.4%), computers and peripherals (+8.8%), communications and audio/video equipment (+5.1%), basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products (+5.4%), lubricants and other petroleum products (+11.3%) while imports of metal ores and non-metallic minerals fell 30.9%.

Canada’s exports to the United States were down 0.2% to $33 billion while our imports from the U.S. were up 0.3%  to $28.7 billion. As a result, our trade surplus with the U. S. fell from $4.4 billion in March to $4.3 billion in April. Exports to countries other than the U.S. fell 7% to $9.8 billion with exports to the E.U. down 22.8%. Imports from those countries increased 3.5% to $14.7 billion. Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the U.S. therefore widened from $3.7 billion in March to $4.9 billion in April.

How about Canada’s main trading partner South of the border ? The latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show that American exports amounted to $193.3 billion in April with imports reaching $240.6 billion, resulting in a U.S. goods and services deficit of $47.2 billion. U.S. exports were down $0.3 billion while imports increased $2.7 billion. The decrease in U.S. exports came from capital goods, foods, feeds, and beverages, automotive vehicles and consumer goods, while exports of industrial supplies and materials were up. The increase in U.S. imports came primarily from consumer goods, automotive vehicles, parts and engines, capital goods  and foods, feeds and beverages while imports of industrial supplies and materials were down.

Christian Sivière               Christian.siviere@videotron.ca                   All Right Reserved June 2014

Sources: Statistics Canada, U.S. Census Bureau